The Phoenix

Friday’s post had me thinking a lot about what happens when women shed their old lives and emerge changed. It reminded me of the mythological creature “The Phoenix”.

Aberdeen Bestiary

Wiki states,

“A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (sun city in Greek). It is said that the bird’s cry is that of a beautiful song.”

I’ve always been fascinated by this story. Whether you believe in Greek mythology or not, it’s a story of new starts. It’s a story of something beautiful emerging from the ashes. It’s how I felt inside when my life completely changed. I rose from the inferno of chaos and strife to emerge beautiful and new. All that old “stuff” burned up.

If you’ve heard of Maya Angelou, then you know this poem. I think it’s a fitting way to end this post. It also ties into the When I see a woman post. No matter what we see or don’t see, that woman has a Phoenix inside. You never know when she will rise.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Rise past judgment. Rise past strife. Rise up and let the beauty of the inside shine outwardly.

25 thoughts on “The Phoenix

  1. It is true for all of us right now. For us and the earth.
    For all women, men and children who are buried and thus not shine brightly, we will rise.
    Oh Angelia that is beautful, we all shall rise eventually and I think the time of collective rising of us and the earth is afoot and that is so exciting.
    That poem is a gem, xox Wilma


  2. Peggy Nolan

    What a beautiful way to connect both posts. In each of us is a Phoenix. I know that I, too, have risen from the ashes of a past life no longer useful.

    Maya’s poem is powerful – so very powerful. Thank you for posting it and reminding us all just how powerful we really are.



  3. Yes, I think this piece ties in so well with “When I See A Woman.”

    I could relate to this correlation when I broke a 20 year cycle of domestic violence and codependecy and began healing from it. When I discovered my self worth it was like I was born again….just like the Phoenix.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful piece Angelia 🙂


  4. one of my favorite poems. maya angelou is an amazing poet. every time i think of phoenix i think of harry potter, which is so not kosher. but i’m in a weird mood so i thought i would share and share some comment love and let you know you have once again posted lovely piece of writing 🙂 ❤


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